Simnel cherry tart

This teatime treat is a cross between a fruity spring-like Simnel cake and a Bakewell tart – great with a cuppa

  • Prep:50 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
    Plus chilling
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 448
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 56g
  • sugars 42g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.5g


  • 75g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 140g butter, softened
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 175g mixed dried fruit
  • 50g glacé cherries, halved
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp cherry jam
  • 350g marzipan, ½ cut into small cubes, ½ rolled into 11 balls to represent the apostles
  • 50g icing sugar, to decorate
  • 25g flaked toasted almonds


  1. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Lift the pastry over your rolling pin and use to line a 20 x 30cm rectangular fluted tart tin, leaving a rim of overhanging pastry. Chill for at least 30 mins.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line your pastry case with baking parchment, then fill with baking beans. Blind-bake for 15 mins, remove the beans and parchment, and bake for a further 10 mins until the pastry is pale golden and biscuity. Leave to cool.

  3. Reduce oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. Stir in the flour, almonds, dried fruit, cherries, half the orange zest, and the spices. Spread the jam over the base of the tart case, then dot the cubes of marzipan over the top. Pour over the cake mixture and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 35 mins until golden and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.

  4. If you want to brown the tops of your marzipan balls, heat the grill to medium. Put the marzipan balls on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and place under the grill for 1-2 mins until golden – make sure you keep an eye on them, as they will burn easily. Let cool. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick, smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the tart, top with the toasted marzipan balls, flaked almonds and the remaining orange zest. Cut into squares to serve. Will keep for 5 days in a sealed container.

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